CNRP rule would send Cambodia into a spiral of war and ruin similar to what has happened in Syria, according to a video released on Wednesday by the Council of Ministers and refuted by the opposition.
“The Regrets of the Leaders of Color Revolution Movement” compares the 2011 uprising and later fighting against Syrian autocrat Bashar al-Assad’s government with 2013 protests led by Cambodian garment workers and opposition leaders in the wake of that year’s national election.
The video’s narrator talks of a busy city under the leadership of President al-Assad with the “sounds of happy people everywhere,” failing to mention claims by human rights groups that secret police jailed and killed scores of government critics.
“But after some Syrian people started to rise up against the regime of President al-Assad through a color revolution, this country, which is located in the Middle East, fell into a terrible war,” the video continues, showing images of the war’s destruction.
The 18-minute video’s focus then shifts to Cambodia, with footage showing opposition rallies at Freedom Park, garment worker protests at Veng Sreng Street, and clashes between government security guards and opposition supporters in 2013.
“After the national election in 2013, extremist groups also had the intention to bring color revolution here in order to fulfill the opposition’s ambition,” the narrator says.
CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said the video, which had been viewed 2,500 times as of on Wednesday evening, functioned as a kind of public service announcement.
“We want people to see the consequence of revolution,” he said.
When asked why the government had chosen to release the video now, Mr. Eysan pointed to the screenings of documentaries chronicling the murders of government critics Kem Ley and Chut Wutty, in an apparent reference to a gathering on Wednesday where organizers planned to watch the documentary “I Am Chut Wutty” on their smartphones in honor of the fifth anniversary of the environmental activist’s murder.
“Why don’t you ask them why they showed it now?” he said.
The video follows a string of both recent and historic warnings by Prime Minister Hun Sen and CPP officials that removing the party from power would cause the kind of chaos from which the party says it rescued the country.
On Tuesday, CNRP President Kem Sokha rebutted claims that an election win for his party would bring war to Cambodia, saying the CNRP only had peaceful intentions for change.
Opposition lawmaker Son Chhay on Wednesday dismissed the Syria comparison, saying the CNRP lacked the means, will and training to stage a revolution.
Mr. Chhay said the warnings were standard rhetoric from the prime minister.
“I’ve heard him speak like this before every election,” he said. “It’s nothing new. We don’t pay attention to any of that.”